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Who is the Competition...
In Re-tooling the Seahawks Roster?
After the upcoming 2022 football season, the NFL will have its annual free agency period then it will hold a draft for teams to build up their 2023 hopes. Most of us Seahawk fans have limited ambitions about this season. Nevertheless, we Have seen reasons for a lot of hope. For many, skipping a year or two of declining mediocrity (which is where they were going) in exchange for retooling the roster is ideal.
It was enjoyable having Russell Wilson’s performance level but I felt for years that the rookie contract was the key to the championship banner hoisted high above Lumen Field. Of the last ten champions, the Ravens, Seahawks, Eagles, and the Chiefs all won with a QB on his rookie deal. The Buccaneers and Patriots (3x) won with the GOAT, but TB12 was playing on a more reasonable contract, thus each of these teams had many other stars to compete with.
Well-rounded rosters are more likely to net Lombardi trophies than being top-heavy. The one outlier is Payton Manning's Broncos and he was not even a real factor. But it was rookie contracts for their defensive studs that enabled that roster to win it all. Would it not be absolutely awesome to have your QB, Offensive Tackles, And several key Defense difference-makers on rookie deals? As good as the last ten champion offenses were, all but Kansas City had a dynamite D.
John Schneider and Pete Carroll sure built a Primo roster quickly starting from scratch in 2010. Since they are not beginning this roster from the ground up, I am expecting a very bright near future. In the NFL, championship rosters are not led by some tool of a QB. There are times when your offensive leader will be required to be a difference-maker. With ‘Drewno Locksmith’ at the helm, the 2022 playoffs do not seem to be a reality. An upgrade for 2023 is a necessity.
Of course, the former ‘Mr. Go Hawks’ is a championship-caliber QB who I wish a healthy but awkward transition to the Broncos. The pendants feel his addition will lift Denver equally as much as they are reporting how it will diminish the Seahawk’s chances. I believe they are over-reacting on both fronts. Denver, with a new coaching staff and a new signal-caller, is not going to live up to its billing.
Sure, the last two champs brought in a primo quarterback but their coaching staffs were stable and both rosters were already chock-full of defensive studs. I suspect Denver will max out at 9 wins / 8 losses and either just miss or barely make the playoffs. They gave up 40 Sacks for 263 yards last year. Clearly, Russ will need to do some running around and hitting receivers on scramble plays. That chemistry takes a fair bit of time to develop. Better than 9 wins in that division for the Broncos is just not a likelihood in 2022.
With the Hawks, there is a level of cultural stability that will help them to transition their new defense, and whoever is our QB, will have a lot of support once the Offensive line gets their early-season bugs out of the way. I find it hard to expect less than a 7 win / 10 loss record with 8 wins feeling ambitious, but doable.
After next season, the 12’s can expect our difference-making QB to be drafted. Many feel our hefty allotment of early picks allows the home team to trade down for our QB. I totally disagree with that strategy. Why? Because after studying our competition in the 2023 draft. Not every team that may possibly be worse than the Seahawks this year will need or even want a QB over other positions of value. Many bad teams have been that way long enough that they already have their franchise signal-caller.
I personally feel the PFF Power Rankings are full of crap but since they look so similar to what many pundits are saying, here is your proverbial ‘grain of salt’. They are saying the 12’s can expect to be the worst team in the league. IF we are, who would we trade down with? Of course, nobody as we would be picking first. What if the home team ends up doing better?
The bottom 12 teams per PFF’s report, in declining order: Steelers, Vikings, Commanders, Lions, Jets, Giants, Jaguars, Texans, Panthers, Falcons, Bears, and the Seahawks as their pick for the league’s caboose in 2022. Of these teams, Steelers just invested heavily into their QB situation, Vikings are set. The Jets, Jaguars, and Bears each already have just made early first-round selections for their respective QBs. That leaves only six teams as our ‘competition’ for an early QB in the upcoming draft. Will ALL of them choose to draft a QB ahead of their other needs? Not likely. Plus, there are a Lot of top gunslingers to pick from.
There are So many bright, talented, and well-accomplished college QBs coming out after next season, that the pickings will be far from slim. Based upon expectations of a bottom-half finish, the teams we are most likely to be selecting a first-round signal-caller; are the Falcons, Texans, Panthers, and the Giants. Each has many needs for its rosters. The Lions and Commanders having heavily committed to the mediocre guys they have could go QB. Plus, who of these most QB-poor teams do we expect the Hawks to beat out? Not likely all of them...
If the Seahawks end up finishing ahead of all of the Most QB needy teams, there Might be four of the best quarterbacks already selected. However, the #5 dude may very well be their first choice. Plus there is a Massive benefit to Not trading out the Denver first-round pick. I for one, would rather they select that #5 guy AND make great selections at those other, very impressive draft slots.
Play the 2022 season out, draft in order and select additional difference-making players at Pass-rushing D-Tackle, Interior O-Line, and WR later on with those other early picks. That is the way to get great fast, which I believe we are in the process of seeing the partnership of JSPC do. After all, they not only have a huge draft haul coming in again, they will have Big bucks to spend on worthy free agents in 2023 as well.
Thus the answer to the leading question - the Seahawks are competing against themselves. Getting better-ish VS becoming Great. As our beloved Beast Mode told Deon Sanders about the great, 2013 Hawk's chances prior to their Superbowl win (before Wilson was an elite QB); "We gotta lot of dogs." - The Seahawks did have some already and picked up some more in the 2022 draft. They also are poised to do the same leading up to the 2023 season. The more Alpha studs, the better. Draft a decent/potentially great QB And more 'dogs' VS risking it all on a Top QB and little else.